Does Being Blind, Mute or Deaf Make You Legally Incapable?

Estate Planning NYc

According to the law, a person is recognized incapable in the case he or she is no longer in condition or competent enough to maintain his or her well-being and maintain personal affairs. If an elderly person suffers from Dementia or other mental disease, they may be recognized legally incapable by a court. But in the case of deafness, blindness and muteness the situation is not so clear.

Being the main aspect for anyone who has to tolerate this disability, blindness can’t be the only factor to label someone incapacitated. This physical disability doesn’t influence a person’s competence, and with proper assistance blind people can make adequate decisions and sign agreements. This also applies to other physical limitations such as muteness and deafness, which are the barriers of communication and generally do not affect competence and ability to act according to the law.

Even if a person has a combination of some disabilities (for example blindness and deafness), he or she generally cannot be rendered incapable either. The contract formalization may be more complicated and expensive in such situation, but it is still possible to carry out the procedure in accordance to the law. As long as the individual is mentally healthy, she is capable of making decisions regarding her property and well-being.

Ways to accommodate these individuals in legal affairs

  1. Note writing for brief interaction.
  2. American Sign Language interpreters are important for complex affairs where all the nuances should be thoroughly discussed and made clear.
  3. Video Relay interpreter (VRI) provides a professional help via online connection. Moreover, a client has a right to demand a live interpreter if the VRI appears not effective.
  4. Tactile Sign Language specialist (TSL) should be hired for blind-deaf people.
  5. The understanding of an agreement should be acknowledged by a witness.

Final Thought

As legislation determines incapacitation as mental disability, such impairments as deafness, muteness and blindness are considered to be similar to language barriers. Today there are numerous of methods available to accommodate such person in any legal setting. If your family member has a risk to become incapable, it is better to consult an attorney at Morgan Legal Group PC in order not to have complications with your property in future. Visit morganlegalny.com to find out more about our company.

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